Notacon Newsfeed, Creativity. Community. Technology.

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

New website and newsfeed!

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

A new Notacon website is now available, which includes an integrated newsfeed system. Thus, this one is now decommissioned. All of the old posts and comments have been ported, but we will keep this feed around for historical purposes.

Please visit the new site at

Notacon 8 media now online!

Saturday, June 25th, 2011

I’m happy to say that the media for Notacon 8 is now online at I want to thank everyone for their patience as I worked through all of the media to get it ready for release. I chose to use MP4 as the video format of choice and OGG as the audio format. As a reminder, all of the media is being released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 license.

Before you start scarfing it down either via torrent or direct download, I want to let everyone know why there is an inconsistent quality between many of the items.

It turns out that our video recording setups, in particular the one in Edison I, were incredibly problematic and produced numerous technical difficulties. In particular it was difficult if not impossible for the person working the cameras and boards to get accurate readings on the audio levels in the rooms. Hence, some of the videos were recorded with the audio being barely audible, while in others the audio consistently “clipped” and was essentially too loud. In many videos, the presenter was inaudible, while people asking questions on the roaming mikes were too loud.

I did my best to personally hand edit and tweak every one of the files. On some of them, I believe I did a reasonably good job. On others, I feel I was lucky to get anything salvageable at all. In a few rare cases, the media was completely unusable (Joe Peacocks “Art of Akira” and Charlie Vedaa’s “Game on! Building an online hacker playground”) I want to sincerely apologize to both presenters for not being able to produce recorded copies of their presentations.

I have already spoken with the video recording crew and we are all working on solutions to prevent problems like those we had this year. As a reminder, this is a volunteer effort. :)

Thanks again for supporting Notacon and look towards the launch of our new website (Ooooo), Call for Proposals (Say it isn’t so!) and Registration (I can’t wait to send you guys money!) in the very near future.

Badge kits and shwag fire sale

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Thanks for your patience as we recover from Notacon! We know a lot of you didn’t get a chance to order a parts kit for your badge. We tried really hard to make sure we had enough, without being stuck holding the bag with extra kits. So here’s the deal!

In order to make sure everyone who wants a kit can get a kit, we are going to take pre-orders for parts kits through our sister site, Nerd’s Nook. You can choose to get a power supplement kit with your kit as well, if you want.

Pre-orders will be accepted through May 8th. After that, we’ll order the parts, put together the kits and have them shipped out within 48 hours after all of the parts have been acquired. While this means you have to wait a little while to get your parts, it saves us from ordering too many parts kits have having tons of spares.

In order to make room for Notacon 9 (It’s only 354 days away!), we are also having a fire sale on ALL Notacon shwag:

So give us a hand and help clear out the ol’ Notacon storage unit, i.e. one of our bedrooms. Our loss is your gain!

Pre-registration codes sent out!

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

A big thank-you to everyone who pre-registered for Notacon 8 and PixelJam!

Emails were sent out tonight containing your registration information. For those familiar with how we have done things in the past, you will see some similarities. However, there are some changes we’ve implemented to try to speed things along even further.

  • Everyone who pre-registered will receive a bar code in their email. This barcode corresponds to your code word. If you want to get in and out as quickly as possible, PRINT OUT THAT BARCODE!
      Note: If you do not want to use the barcode or forgot it, you will need to present us with the NAME and EMAIL address your registration was made under, as well as some form of photo ID. Note that many people who registered, particularly groups, didn’t follow directions. Hence, we were left with fake names and sometimes NO names or email addresses at all. IF YOU ARE IN A GROUP, please contact your group coordinator to sort everything out. If you can’t prove to us somehow you have a ticket, we cannot let you in the door!
  • Registration and Shwag are separate, and shwag will not open until after the Friday registration rush. We will have 2 registration lines (one for pre-reg, one for cash/credit) with 2 people per line. Our hope is that we can speed everyone through quickly.
  • Registration will be open Thursday night during our FREE Notacon 8 Freeview. If you are buying a ticket at the door, it may behoove you to show up and see what we’re all about… *wink*

If for some reason you feel you should have received an email with registration information and have not, please contact so we can look into the issue. Providing us with your order number from your purchase would be exceedingly helpful in helping us to figure out the issue as quickly as possible.

Well, that’s all for now! A little under 5 days until Notacon and PixelJam! If you didn’t buy your ticket, don’t worry, there should be plenty available at the door.

See you there!

UPDATE 4/10/2011 1:45 AM EST: Yeah, I kinda screwed up the first emails to everyone and mixed up database fields. I called a do-over and sent the RIGHT ones. Sorry about that.

Notacon Badge Sneak Peek

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

Notacon 8 will feature, for the first time, a hardware badge. Designed by Seth Hardy, they signify

  • Arduino compatible (with FTDI cable)
  • Six PWM LEDs
  • Capacitive sensor that also double as a place to write your name
  • built-in prototyping area
  • Powered by 2 CR2032 batteries, with an option of extra 4AA of 9V battery pack
  • Optional alcohol gas sensor

That’s not all, though. Numerous other surprises await you! We encourage you to bring your own components and parts to experiment and play with.

Everyone who purchased a Premium registration will get a parts kit including the ATMEGA328P-PU processor. We will have extra parts kits available for a fee of $20. 9V and 4AA power extension kits will be available as well for a nominal fee, as well as spare FTDI cables. A portion of the profits from these kits will be given directly to Cleveland’s hackerspace, Makers’ Alliance.

Speaking of them, there will be a huge hardware and badge hacking this area sponsored by the Makers’ Alliance the will have available the soldering supplies, tools and expertise necessary to put the badge together. Thus, if you’re new to soldering and building electronics, worry not! You will be in good hands! For those that want to purchase their own starter soldering tool kits, they will be available again for a nominal, a portion of which will be kicked back to Makers’ Alliance.

Oh, you wanted to see what they look like? Sure. Here you go!

Notacon hotel rate ends today, registration ends April 8th

Monday, March 28th, 2011

The Notacon room block rate officially ends today, March 28th. If you still haven’t booked your room, please do so today! After today, the few rooms we do have left will be released from the block and sold at regular rates. If it is after the 28th, we would encourage you to call our contact at the hotel directly (indicated on the page) as they may honor the discounted rate.

Also as a a reminder, pre-registration for Notacon ends on April 8th. Tickets will be $120 at the door otherwise. Plan ahead and save money!

Notacon wants to rent your land!

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

Tyger and I (well, mostly I) have been scheming for a number of years now on a new project. However, this project would require us to obtain use of a fairly substantial piece of rural property (20 acres or more) for a week or so. Some of you may see where this is going.

The problem is, we’re city folk, and our .09 acre postage stamp lot just won’t fit the bill for what we have in mind. Thus, we are interested in hearing from individuals who would be willing to let us temporarily use/rent their land for a week or so. Preferably it would have the following attributes:

  • 20+ acres
  • Be in such a location that lots of noise wouldn’t cause a problem with the neighbors or Johnny Law.
  • Semi-wooded
  • Accessible via public roads w/o requiring using of a 4×4
  • Have access to potable water

As an added bonus, these features would be nice but not necessary:

  • Access to 100A of electricity
  • On-site bathrooms and shower facilities
  • Lake or other water feature
  • FREE!!! (or damn cheap)

We are looking to pull this project off late in the summer or early in the fall of 2011. If you think you might be able to help us, or know someone who does, please contact either me or reply to this entry.

Call for Notacon volunteers

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Notacon functions thanks to the hard work of it’s volunteers, who offer hundreds of hours of volunteer time each year. As we ramp up for Notacon 8, the call for volunteers this year is on! Kat and Tod have graciously agreed to corral and wrangle volunteers this year, so yay to them for their help!

This years event includes some new roles and responsibilities, as well more work to be done. Hence, we will need to recruit more people than previous years to make sure this year is a smashing success!

If you are interested in helping out, they have set up a handy little questionnaire to help them organize everyone. Also, if you haven’t already, please subscribe to the volunteers email list. Thanks in advance for your interest!


Email List:

PixelJam scener list

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

I know I’m late to the game with this, but I finally got around to putting a list on the PixelJam website of all of the demosceners who are attending Notacon and PixelJam this year. I definitely need to populate it, and if you haven’t contacted me yet to get on it, please do so! Feel free to email me at

Notacon 2011 registrations now open! Also, new venue!

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Tyger and I are having a ball here at the Grand Traverse Frag Fest in Traverse City, Michigan! To celebrate this event, Notacon 2011 registration is now open! There are a few changes from previous years, including some modest price increases. New this year, groups can register and pay online. Also, we are introducing a limited number of reduced rate “starving hacker” tickets intended to help those in our community without the financial means to do so. We hope this will enable us to increase the scope and breadth of knowledge and creativity within the community and make Notacon 8 the best Notacon ever!

To help make Notacon 8 the best yet, we are pleased to announce that the event has moved to the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Cleveland nearby to Progressive Field. The new location offers us many new and exciting opportunities, including expanded conference space, better parking options, exemptions for energy drinks sponsorships (Can you say BAWLS?) and exemptions for outside food after hours. In addition, the new space has renovated rooms containing a refrigerator, microwave and other amenities not found at our previous venue. A booking link to register hotel rooms will be announced shortly.

And finally, some of you may have wondered about the future of a demo party at Notacon. Worry not, we have major plans and announcements coming in the near future. We will put together a new tightly integrated party that will be bigger and better than anything done previously at our event! The North American demoscene lives!